Los Angeles — Fifteen industry leaders were inducted into the Consumer Electronics Hall of Fame during its 14th annual awards ceremony, held here Tuesday night.
The Hall of Fame Awards ceremony was held in conjunction with the Consumer Electronics Association’s (CEA) Industry Forum earlier this week and included a special tribute to International CES founder Jack Wayman’s 50-year career at CEA and its predecessor organization.
The 2013 class includes inventors with a vision, business executives, retailers with innovative strategies to bring products and services to market, and a journalist who influenced the industry. Dr. Samar Basu discovered the material that enabled the development of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that now power many CE devices, and it was Ted Hoff’s idea for a "computer on a chip” that led to the Intel 4004 chip, the world's first microprocessor.
Another invention that has shaped the industry was developed by Dr. Ching Tang and Steven Van Slyke while at Eastman Kodak. The team’s work resulted in the creation of OLED displays used in smartphones, digital cameras, and HD and Ultra HD TVs.
Three teams of founders and corporate executives were inducted. Sharp’s Katsuhiko Machida and Mikio Katayama saw LCD as the future of HDTV. Machida transformed Sharp into a market leader in the LCD flat-screen TV category, while Katayama's work made the large-screen technology possible. Two of the teams being inducted founded start-ups that are now iconic industry brands. Jim Barton and Michael Ramsay created TiVo, the first commercial hard-drive-based DVR, whose success turned the name of the company into a verb. Gary Burrell and Dr. Min-Hwan Kao founded Garmin, the first and largest commercial GPS receiver maker worldwide.
In the retail arena, the father/son team of Len and Jim Tweten founded Magnolia Audio Video and then grew the local chain into a national high-end audio and video retailing giant, pioneering the store-within-a-store retailing concept. Another highly successful team created the concept of the electronic marketplace when Pierre Omidyar founded eBay and hired Meg Whitman to help grow the company to $8 billion in annual revenue.
Manning Greenberg was one of the most significant trade journalists of his time while working at Home Furnishings Daily.
CEA president and CEO Gary Shapiro praised the inductees for their contributions to the industry, “These leaders inspire us to reach higher and work harder. Their vision and determination have laid a foundation that we continue to build on today to improve the lives of consumers worldwide.”
The highlight of the evening occurred when CEA honored Wayman with a video montage of Wayman’s career achievements brought attendees to a standing ovation. Wayman, a highly decorated World War II officer with two Purple Hearts, will soon receive the Légion d'Honneur from the French government. He also is an inaugural member of the 2000 class of the CE Hall of Fame.
Wayman created and produced the first CES in 1967 with 100 exhibitors and 17,000 attendees. During his career, he had victories on the legislative and public policy front that paved the way for the introduction of breakthrough technologies including the groundbreaking Sony-Betamax case.
As he accepted his award, he said, “My members wanted me to walk on water, so I said to my staff, ‘Well, you have to tell me where the rocks are then.’ ” He also nonchalantly said, “Hey, did you know that 91 is the new 90?” enchanting dinner guests who gave him another ovation.
To select the 2013 class, a panel of consumer electronics industry media and professionals met in New York in February to judge the hundreds of nominations that were submitted by manufacturers, retailers and industry journalists.